|Constitution of the Academic Senate|
To provide for effective participation and deliberation by the academic community of the University of the West in the formulation of governing policies for the University, the Academic Senate is established with the following constitution.
Article I - The Academic Senate
Section 1. The Academic Senate is the principle agency for the formulation and recommendation of policy for the University. Regular meetings shall be held at least once every semester during the academic year. Special meetings of the Academic Senate shall be called at the request of the President of the University, or of the Chairperson of the Academic Senate, or on written petition of thirty per cent (30%) or the members of the Academic Senate. A majority of the members constitutes a quorum.
Article II - Membership
Section 1. The Academic Senate shall consist of representatives from the University administration, faculty and students. In the interests of communication and cooperation, the Emeritus Faculty and the Alumni shall also each have a representative. Student, administration, emeritus faculty and alumni representatives have the same rights to speak and vote as other members, but may not serve concurrently as elected representatives of the faculty, and are not qualified for election as officers of the Senate.
Section 2. Administration representatives shall consist of the President, Dean of Academic Affairs and Dean of Student Services.
a) For the purposes of this Constitution, the faculty consists of all University staff, whether full-time or part-time, holding the title of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, Instructor or Lecturer and holders of such other professional and administrative staff positions as Director, Associate Director or Assistant Director of the Library, IAB, BPCRC and CSMSB. Faculty representatives shall consist of no less than fifteen (15) faculty members apportioned among the Departments as much as possible in proportion to faculty population.
b) All faculty, full-time and part-time, may vote for representatives.
c) An elected faculty member is subject to recall by a majority vote of his or her constituents. A recall election shall be held whenever twenty-five (25) of the qualified voters of the constituency sign a petition to recall.
Section 4. The Chair of the Academic Senate and the previous years Chair (if not the same person as the current chair) shall be members of the Senate ex officio.
Section 5. Student representatives shall consist of the President of the Student Association and three (3) students in good standing elected by all students to serve one year terms, and may serve more than one term.
Section 6. The Alumni representatives shall be elected by all alumni by postal vote to a three (3) year term.
Section 7. The representatives of the Emeritus Faculty shall be elected by postal vote by all emeritus faculty.
Article III - Executive Committee
Section 1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of the Senate Officers, the President, Dean of Academic Affairs and the President of the Student Association.
Article IV - Elections of Faculty Representatives
a) Faculty representatives shall be elected to the Academic Senate of this University from among full-time and part-time faculty.
b) Members of the faculty electorate holding full-time administrative positions are not eligible to serve as faculty representatives while holding such positions.
Section 2. Before each spring election, using the active list of full-time and part-time faculty of the preceding fall semester, the Election Committee shall determine the number of representatives allotted to each Department. The Election Committee shall announce the date of the election, and conduct the election on UWest premises. Elections for the Chair, Assistant Chair and Secretary of the Academic Senate hall be conducted at the same time and voted by all faculty.
Section 3. Representatives or officers to the Academic Senate shall be nominated by a petition signed by at least two (2) members of the faculty electorate or the appropriate Department. The candidate shall indicate by his/her signature on the petition his/her willingness to serve if elected.
Section 4. When there is a vacancy of a faculty representative, his/her replacement for the remainder of term shall be chosen as follows:
a) The Dean of Academic Affairs shall hold a special election within one month of the determination of the vacancy. If no candidate files for that vacancy, it shall be filled by the Executive Committee with a person from that constituency, who shall then serve until a successor is chosen at the next regular election. If only one candidate files a nominating petition for such a vacancy, the Dean shall not conduct an election but shall so report to the Executive Committee, and the Executive Committee shall declare the single candidate elected.
b) Vacancies are created by
1) resignation or recall from the Senate,
2) termination of employment,
3) repeated failure to attend Senate meetings as determined by the Executive Commitee,
4) leave, with or without pay, which covers more than one semester, or
5) appointment to a full-time administrative (Management Personnel Plan) position.
c) Faculty representatives, who accept one semester leaves with or without pay, may resign from the Senate or request selection of a replacement for the one semester, following the procedures listed in (a) above.
Section 5. Procedures and forms for faculty election shall be determined by the Election Committee, with the approval of the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.
Article V - Senate Officers
Section 1. The following are officers of the Academic Senate:
1) The Chair of the Senate, who shall be its presiding officer, as provided in the Constitution, and shall also be Chair of the Executive Committee, the Budget Advisory Committee and general faculty meetings.
2) The Vice Chair, who shall discharge the duties of the Chair during any temporary disability of the Chair, and shall succeed to the office of Chair when the Chairs term or terms expire or if the Chair resigns or that office becomes vacant for any other reason.
3) The Secretary, who shall be Chair of the Committee on Committees and the Election Committee, shall act as Vice Chair during the temporary disability of the Vice Chair, and shall act as Chair if both Chair and Vice Chair become temporarily unable to perform their duties.
Article VI - Organization
Section 1. The presiding officer of the Academic Senate shall be the Chair. The Vice Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair.
Section 2. Budgetary support for the Academic Senate, including secretarial service and operational expense, shall be provided by the University.
Section 3. A record shall be kept of the proceedings of the Academic Senate. The agenda shall be published as long before and the minutes as soon after each meeting is practicable.
Section 4. The Academic Senate may adopt By-Laws consistent with this Constitution. By-Laws may be enacted only by a two-thirds (2/3) majority at a regular meeting subsequent to the meetings at which such By-Laws were introduced.
Section 5. The Academic Senate may establish its own rules of procedure consistent with this Constitution. A standing rule may be established, amended or rescinded by a majority vote at any meeting.
Section 6. The Academic Senate shall appoint committees of its own as specified in the By-Laws. Any member of the University community may serve on such committees.
Article VII - Powers and Responsibilities
Section 1. The Academic Senate, subject to the policies and regulations of the Board of Trustees, shall formulate policies and procedures on matters affecting the general welfare of the University, including (a) educational policies, (b) faculty affairs, (c) student affairs, and (d) budget and finance.
Section 2. Upon passage by the Academic Senate, proposed policies and procedures shall be submitted to the President of the University for consideration and action. Those approved by the President become official University Policy and will be implemented as soon as practicable. The President will report to the Senate promptly on those proposed measures of which he or she does not approve.
Section 3. The Academic Senate shall perform the duties assigned to it in the UWest Grievance Policies and Procedures and the Policy on Academic Freedom and exercise the powers assigned to the Academic Senate.
Article VIII - Amendments
Section 1. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed for faculty consideration by a majority of the total membership of the Academic Senate or by a petition signed by twenty per cent (20%) of the faculty electorate. Ratification shall require approval by a majority of the votes cast by the faculty electorate, and by the President of the University.
Article IX - Adoption
Section 1. This Constitution shall become effective on approval by a majority of the faculty and by the President of the University.